New Jersey Residents Who Lost Cars in Tropical Storm Ida Can Get Free Uber and Lyft Rides
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For a few weeks, New Jersey residents whose cars were lost or damaged by flash floods related to Tropical Storm Ida will be able to use services provided by Uber and Lyft for free. The news was announced recently by Governor Phil Murphy.
The program is the result of a partnership between the two rideshare companies and United Way. Through this program, drivers with lost or damaged vehicles can text NJIDARIDE to 898-211 to request a ride from Lyft or Uber. If the driver doesn’t have a smartphone, they can dial 2-1-1.
Murphy said in a statement, “I want to thank both Uber and Lyft for their generous offer of transportation for New Jerseyans in need.” He added, “In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ida, we must come together as a community and pick one another up.”
Recent storms caused flooding in New Jersey.
New Jersey residents may get alternative transportation covered by car insurance
This program complements already existing initiatives to cover alternate transportation costs. Individuals with coverage that includes flooding can access paid-for rental cars through their car insurance company.
According to NJ.com, Christine O’Brien, president of New Jersey’s Insurance Council, said that drivers should check what’s covered with their insurance carrier. Rental reimbursement will only be made available to drivers who are paying for a car insurance policy that includes rental coverage. This coverage can go toward any alternative transportation methods, such as rideshare services, taxis, or public transportation.
However, whether or not insurance will cover rental vehicles will range between companies. You can use your company’s “declaration page” to find which services are offered through your insurance policy.
O’Brien recommends saving the receipts from your transportation expenses for rental reimbursement. “No matter what expense people incur as a result of an accident, or in the case of a disaster, they should save their receipts because certain expenses may be eligible for reimbursement from an insurer,” she said.
New Jersey rental car companies also hit by the storm
NJ.com further reported that car rental companies have been struggling to keep up with demand in the aftermath of the storm, especially since these companies also lost cars in the flash floods.
Lisa Martini, a spokesperson for Enterprise Holdings, a car rental company, confirmed that there’s been a spike in replacement vehicle reservations. “A significant weather disaster like the one we just witnessed will typically produce an increase in insurance claims several days and weeks after the storm has passed,” she said.
Martini added that rental car companies, too, have “sustained damage” to both their facilities and their cars.“We are continuing to assess the damage to those vehicles that have not [been] returned to us, and we are working quickly to move vehicles around from our network of locations to accommodate the local need,” she said.
Tropical Storm Ida Wreaked Havoc on New Jersey
Tropical Storm Ida did a lot of damage to New Jersey, with at least three tornadoes destroying at least 20 houses, according to NJ.com. At least 23 people died due to the storm, and at least 600 residents have been left homeless.
The storm flooded major roadways and caused extensive damage to vehicles, and Murphy urged New Jersey residents to avoid driving. Some of the recorded deaths occurred on the road, and New Jersey transportation services have been majorly impeded.
Tropical Storm Ida came as a reminder to many that as climate change becomes a more salient issue, natural disasters and extreme weather will become increasingly common. Now is a good time to upgrade your insurance and brush up on your safety practices.
“This is just yet another reminder, these come more frequently,” said Murphy. “We have got to update our playbook. We’ve got to turn it up.”